June 2018’s best writing competitions 


Whether novels, short stories, poetry or screenplays are your thing, June’s a wonderful time to get out in the garden and write. We’ve brought together this month’s top writing competitions and opportunities, open to writers based in the UK and internationally, to give your work the chance to get noticed.

We’ve summarised details of prizes, requirements, entry fees (some are free) and deadlines so you can decide which are the best opportunities for you. Good luck!

BAFTA Scholarship

If you’re based in the UK and are looking to study a post-graduate course in film, games or TV, you could get financial assistance and mentoring as part of a BAFTA scholarship. Check if the course you’re interested in is eligible and apply here before 11th June.

Win a £30,000 publishing deal with Bonnier Zaffre

Richard and Judy – who run the biggest book club in Britain which is renowned for giving talented authors a chance to shine – have launched a competition to find a new author with the potential to become a bestseller. The competition, which is supported by WHSmith, is open to unpublished authors who have not yet sent their work to literary agents or other publishers. Editors and agents will be involved in the judging process. The winner will received a £30,000 publishing deal with Bonnier Zaffre and advice from literary agent, Furniss Lawton. For your chance to be considered, submit up to 10,000 words of original fiction along with a synopsis by 14th June. Details here.

TSS Publishing Flash Fiction Competition

The summer round of the TSS International Flash Fiction Competition is open. The top prize is £400. Winning and highly commended stories will also be published online. The entry fee is £5 but will be waived for any writers from marginalised and disadvantaged communities or anyone suffering from economic hardship. The deadline is 15th June. Details here.

Creative Future Literary Awards 

The Creative Future Literary Awards is a prominent writing competition with a high-profile ceremony which celebrates under-represented writers. Prizes will be awarded for both short stories and poetry, including £7,500 in cash as well as professional writing development opportunities. The theme is ‘Chemistry’ and there is no entry fee. Submit your work by 18th June. Details here.

Win a holiday with the Eyelands International Short Story Contest

Win a week’s holiday to the Greek island of Crete with the Eyelands International Short Story Contest. The theme of this year’s competition is ‘Luggage’ and you can submit short stories of up to 2,500 up until 20th June. Entries cost €10. Details here.

The Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize

The Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize for unpublished stories is still open. There is a top prize of £1,000. The winning entry will be published in Prospect online and in the RSL Review. Stories must be written in English and between 2,000 and 4,000 words. Entrants must be resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth. Entries cost £7.50 and can be made up until 29th June.  Details here.

The Impress Prize

The 2018 Impress Prize is welcoming submissions of fiction and non-fiction from all writers who have not been traditionally published. You have to submit a book proposal and a sample chapter of up to 6,000 words. The winner will be awarded a print and ebook publishing contract with Impress Books as well as a £500 advance. It costs £25 to enter and the deadline is 29th June. Details here.

The Bluepencilagency First Novel Award

The First Novel Award from The Bluepencilacency is open to entries from unrepresented and unpublished authors until 30th June. The winner will receive £1,000 and an introduction to award-winning literary agent, Madeleine Milburn. It’s £20 to enter. Details here.

Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers

If you’re a writer and your fiction hasn’t appeared in any print publication with a circulation of more than 5,000 copies (online publication is fine), why not enter the Glimmer Train Press’ short story competition? Submit fiction of up to 12,000 words to be in with a chance of winning the top prize of $2,500USD and publication in Glimmer Train Stories. The entry fee is $18 and the deadline is 30th June. Details here.

North Street Book Prize

Your self-published book could win up to $3,000USD and professional marketing support in the North Street Book Prize. You can enter literary fiction, genre fiction, creative non-fiction/memoir, poetry and children’s picture books of up to 150,000 words. It costs $60 to enter. Submit your work from anywhere in the world by 30th June. Details here.

The Moth International Short Story Prize

Entries are still being accepting for The Moth International Short Story Prize. This year’s judge is Kevin Barry who won The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize in 2012 and has published two collections of short stories as well as award-winning novels. The top prize is €3,000 and there are generous runner-up prizes too. It costs €12 to enter stories of up to 5,000 words. The deadline is 30th June. Details here.

The Nowhere Magazine Travel Writing Contest

Literary travel magazine, Nowhere Magazine is accepting submissions for its Spring 2018 Travel Writing Contest. Enter fiction, non-fiction and essays of up to 5,000 words. The winner will be awarded $1,000USD and will be published. It costs $20 to submit and the deadline has been extended to 1st July. Details here.

The Brighton Prize

The Brighton Prize judges are on the hunt for inventive writing and new voices. Their favourite short story (up to 2,000 words) will be awarded £1,000 and the best piece of flash fiction (up to 350 words) will win £500. This year’s judges include Man Booker long-listed novelist Alison McLeod and literary agent Sarah Manning from The Bent Agency. Short story entries cost £8 and flash fiction £6. The deadline is 1st July. Details here.

Penguin Random House Development WriteNow Scheme

Penguin Random House’s WriteNow scheme aims to find, mentor and publish new writers from under-represented communities in the UK. To apply, you need to submit information about the book you’re working on, a 1,000-word extract and details of how you meet the selection criteria by 9th July if you’re a writer, 23rd July if you’re an illustrator.

150 writers and illustrators will be invited to take place in one of the development workshops around the country in September. Ten exceptional new voices will then be selected to join a year-long mentoring programme.  While there are no guarantees, five writers who have been through the programme since it launched in 2016, have signed publishing deals. Details here.

Kindle Direct Publishing Prize

There is a £20,000 prize on offer for the best book published through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon between 1st May and 31st August. It’s a prize dedicated to self-published authors. Books can be in any genre but can’t have been published elsewhere. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will be recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony in London. Details here.

Apply for a salary to write a novel

How would you like a £2,000-a-month salary to write a novel? De Montfort Literature is offering an alternative to traditional agents/publishers and self-publishing routes with this innovative venture. They’re looking for fiction writers with good ideas, imagination and a passion for storytelling. Details here.

That’s it for this month but do join us on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on the new opportunities we share every day. 

If you have a great competition or opportunity for writers coming up, do get in touch with us here. We publish the best every month on Literary Lightbox and promote even more on social media.

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    By: Literary Lightbox

    Literary Lightbox, founded by Loretta Milan, publishes great writing inspiration, opportunities and news. We feature New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling authors, emerging and indie authors too.

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